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WiFi hotspots top 45,000

The quickening

The number of WiFi hotspots in the world is set to double this year, according to Pyramid Research.

At the end of last year there were fewer than 20,000 hotspots dotted around the world. At the end of 2003 figure there will be in excess of 45,000, Pyramid says..

The pace of deployment has quickened in the last three months, according to the research firm, which now forecasts the deployment of more than 100,000 hotspots by early 2005.

Around half of the world's hotspots are in Asia (24,300) while Europe (10,160) and the US (10,970) boast roughly the same number. Pyramid reckons there's also 550-odd in Latin America.

While the number of hotspots is set to explode, there are those who are still unconvinced about future of Wi-Fi.

Take Steve Kennedy, head of product futures at telco THUS plc, for example.

This is what he has to say on the subject: "WiFi can offer a useful solution for specific networking requirements. But it is a developing and imperfect technology. It has inherent weaknesses and offers only a fraction of the capacity and security of wired networks.

"Consider also the fact that service providers will need to be very careful to stay within the law and you realise that at the moment WiFi ought to come with a Government health warning." ®

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